Outdoors briefly

Registration key for darkhouse fishing

All individuals who participate in darkhouse spearfishing must register with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department prior to participating. Registration is available at the department’s website, (, or through any Game and Fish Department office.

North Dakota’s darkhouse spearfishing season opens on most state waters Dec. 1. The season extends through March 15. Legal fish are northern pike and nongame species.

Darkhouse spearing is allowed for all residents with a valid fishing license and for residents under age 16. Nonresidents may darkhouse spearfish in North Dakota if they are from states that offer the same privilege for North Dakota residents.

All waters open to hook and line fishing are open to darkhouse spearing except: Braun Lake in Logan County; East Park Lake, West Park Lake and Lake Audubon in McLean County; Heckers Lake in Sheridan County; McClusky Canal; New Johns Lake in Burleigh County; Red and Bois de Sioux rivers; Red Willow Lake in Griggs County; and Sweet Briar Dam in Morton County.

Anglers should refer to the 2012-14 North Dakota Fishing Guide for more information.

Lakes closed to ice fishing

Anglers are reminded that three North Dakota lakes are closed to ice fishing. The State Fair Pond in Ward County, McDowell Dam in Burleigh County and Lightning Lake in McLean County are closed when the lakes ice over. Anglers should refer to the 2012-14 North Dakota Fishing Guide for open water and winter fishing regulations.

River section now national trail

A portion of the water that Lewis and Clark traveled has been added to the National Water Trails System today. The newly declared Missouri National Recreation River Water Trail flows through South Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa.

The trail joins a system of 11 locally managed water trails throughout the country. The trails increase access to water-based outdoor recreation and contribute to the livability and economic vitality of local communities.

The Missouri National Recreation River Water Trail carries visitors through some of the last natural stretches of America’s longest river. Paddlers and boaters have the chance to explore more than 147 miles, including wild and scenic stretches of the Missouri River, and view scenery that Lewis and Clark recorded in their journals more than 200 years ago.

National Water Trails are designated by the Secretary of the Interior and are part of the National Trails System, administered by the National Park Service in partnership with a wide range of federal agencies. Designation of national water trails helps to strengthen local efforts for recreation, conservation and restoration of America’s waterways and surrounding lands.